A Sideways Glance at the Hidden Meaning of Aussie Place Names

There are many place names around the world that cry out to tell you their true meaning. Well, perhaps not their ridgey didge true meaning, but who has ever looked at the name Footscray and not felt that it probably also exists as an entry in a medical dictionary? Or Patchewollock, or Humpty Doo? Exactly.

This work attempts to do for (or to) Australian place names what Douglas Adams and John Lloyd did for Britain and the rest of the world, in The Meaning of Liff and The Deeper Meaning of Liff.

Words by Duncan Waldron, illustrations by Matt Davis.

Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.


See Why am I doing this? for something approaching a motive.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Baarmutha - Balnarring

Baarmutha n
(1) The dominant ewe, and hence, (2) the loudest woman in a public bar.

Bacchus Marsh n
The sodden mess of clothing, carpet, domestic pet, etc, created by someone so completely plastered that holding a full glass of beer is no longer possible. cf Chain of Lagoons.

Back Yamma n
  1. Any advice given by a mother-in-law, especially from the rear seat of a car. There is no known way of preventing or avoiding an impending Back Yamma.
  2. Any careless act, such as trying to lift an inebriated stranger into his driving seat, which causes lumbar pain that will last for five weeks and never quite fade away. The discomfort is surprisingly similar to that caused by (1) above.
Baffle Creek n
A variation to normal state government policy, concerning road signs that indicate direction and distance to nearby towns. The variation takes effect at selected T-junctions, where signs are deemed either (a) unnecessary, (b) a waste of taxpayers’ money, or (c) too helpful.

Bagshot adj
The condition of any favourite pair of shorts or trousers, now used only for fishing, which no dog will go near.

Bagshot North adj
The appearance of a face that has spent the night under a table, pressed against the carpet, among cigarette butts, etc, after a particularly rough party.

Balbarrup n
The steady rhythm of a deep and prolonged belch. The late Cozy Powell was inspired in the 1970s by the Balbarrups of members of his Australian road crew, subsequently basing many of his drum riffs on the unique sound.

Ballangeich n
The fear of facing a direct free kick in soccer, on an especially wet and cold day.

Balmattum n
The side effect of wearing a cricketer’s box for the length of time it takes an English batsman to score a century in first-class cricket.

Balnarring n
The immediate effects of a direct hit when not wearing a cricketer’s box, in the brief instant before the onset of pain.

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